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Boston Restaurant Blog >> 2010 archives >> June, 2010 >> blog entry

Boston Restaurant Blog -- June, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

First Visit to The Raven's Nest, Walpole

I used to enjoy going to a bare-bones Irish pub in Walpole called The Paddock, partly because it felt a bit like some of the watering holes I have been to in Ireland. And while the food could be pretty good at The Paddock (no relation to the one in Somerville, by the way), it felt a bit worn out and tired, and the service wasn't always up to snuff. So when The Paddock closed about a year and a half ago, I had mixed feelings about it being gone, but was excited to hear about a new Irish pub moving into the space, especially since the owners were also behind a well-regarded spot in Waltham called The Mad Raven. Well, we recently made it over to this new restaurant and pub--called The Raven's Nest--and while the food seemed a bit inconsistent, it is a very pleasant spot that certainly shows a lot of promise.

photo of The Raven's Nest, Walpole, MA The folks behind The Raven's Nest did a nice job of renovating the space where The Paddock used to be. The ceiling has been raised (giving it more of a bright, airy feel), the front windows now open to the sidewalk, the center wall that used to separate the bar from the dining area has been taken down, and a fireplace has been added to the back of the place. Indeed, the Raven's Nest feels nothing like The cave-like Paddock, looking a bit more like a gastropub or an slightly upscale Irish restaurant than an old-school neighborhood bar. Some folks may miss the gritty feel of The Paddock, but I really like what they did with the space (even though I am a big fan of dark, no-frills bars).

A large group of us made the trip over to The Raven's Nest, so we got to try a number of items on the menu. The highlight was probably the flash-fried calamari, which was tender and not greasy at all, and came with delicious fried cherry pepper slices. The lettuce wraps were satisfying, with a nice mix of diced chicken and rice noodles, all in a sweet (but not too sweet) sauce. The Cape Codder sandwich (deep-fried scrod on a bulkie roll) was pretty basic, receiving mixed reviews, while the Raven Roll (a turkey wrap with bacon, scallions, and havarti cheese) was tasty but undercooked on the grill, and marred by an overabundance of cheese, which detracted from the relatively small amounts of turkey and bacon. The pesto chicken sandwich was fine, but it was tiny--so small that it looked like the two orders of the dish our table received had instead been split up as one order to be shared by two people. Drinks included a decently-poured Guinness as well as a couple of other beers. Our server was friendly and helpful throughout our meal, and the prices we paid for our dishes were generally ok, though maybe a bit on the high side, especially considering the small size of a few of the sandwiches.

The few issues we had with the food at The Raven's Nest may simply be because we went there shortly after they first opened, and they need to work out some of the kinks. If they do, this will be a place that I'll certainly go back to, as the atmosphere is terrific and the people seem very nice. Perhaps once the restaurant gets a bit more settled in, I'll give the place another shot.

If you want the address for The Raven's Nest, here it is: The Raven's Nest, 998 Main Street, Walpole, MA, 02081. Phone: (508) 734-9377

Related Blog Entries: Irish pubs, Walpole restaurants

CV said:
My husband and I went last Friday and was so disappointed. The calamari was so overcooked and had tons of peppers in it. My husbands cocktail had flat tonic water and when we complained she brought another drink and charged us for both. The restaurant should hire another cook. VERY Disappointed and will never go again. We will go back to our favorite CONRADS in Norwood.
Posted on 7/14/10
JD and JD Providence, R.I. said:
My husband and family dined at the Ravens Nest recently. We have put it on our list to visit again. Our food was cooked to profection and the cocktails were soothing and refreshing. Not only was the cuisine great, the service was good and the atmosphere was relaxing and had ambience. I know it opened recently, and whoever established this venue shoud be commended.
Posted on 8/4/10
MRSD said:
WHO puts the salsa already ON the Nachos?!?!? Soggy. Very very disappointed in their apps. And the service is very very inconsistent. Did anybody TRAIN the staff? They seem just "thrown out there."
Posted on 10/2/10

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